My immediate reaction to seeing that revenues for the DallasFire-Rescue’s community paramedicine program were “below expectations” was anything but surprise. In fact, anyone surprised by this news doesn’t have realistic expectations of novel EMS business models.

The reality is that community paramedicine programs across the country are learning how to be self-sufficient. Fire and EMS administrators are being forced to look at their balance sheets and bank accounts in a way that doesn’t jibe with traditional EMS funding or reimbursement.

But when it’s the health of the patient on the line, taking a chance on such a program is worth every ounce of uncertainty and political pushback. Congratulations to Dallas Fire-Rescue, and especially to Assistant Chief Norman Seals, for knowing how to respond when facing a reporter asking tough questions about a program that has yet to make any money.

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